Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

December 11, 2015

Native Americans protest tar sands and fracking at COP21

Native Americans protest tar sands and fracking at COP21

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News 
Native Americans in Paris protested the tar sands owner Total, and corporate fracking, while rallying in solidarity with migrants and refugees, standing strong this week in the face of the ban on protests during the UN COP21 climate summit.
Native American women, including Lummi women and youths, rallied for women’s rights, and remembered the murdered and missing women at home in Canada and the United States. (Photo below by Deborah Parker.)
While the world’s leaders continued to ignore Indigenous Peoples rights in negotiations, Indigenous Peoples rallied and protested in the streets, calling out exploiters and corporate profiteers.
Dine' (Navajo) and Ponca women joined other Native Americans and protested outside the auction at Hotel Drouot in Paris, were sacred ceremonial items were auctioned this week. Rare, and ancient items, sacred items of the Hopi, Pueblo, Navajo, Ojibwe, Tlingit, Maya, and others from the Americas, were auctioned.
As they called out the corporate exploiters and “greenwashers” at COP21, they provided their own media, without relying on the decaying mainstream media.
Indigenous Rising reported over one-hundred people gathered for a peaceful protest outside the headquarters of energy corporation Total.
Indigenous Rising said, “The Canadian government’s on-going commitment to tar sands expansion is incompatible with Prime Minister Trudeau’s promise at the Paris Climate talks to restrict planetary warming to just 1.5 Celsius warming. The extraction of highly polluting tar sands on indigenous lands continue to expand at a rapid rate.”
Indigenous delegations took this action, as Indigenous Rights continued to be on the chopping block of the Paris Climate Accord.
During the protest of Total, an owner of Alberta Tar Sands that is poisoning Cree and the natural world, Indigenous from the Arctic and South Pacific spoke out.
Daniel T’seleie, Dene, said, “Indigenous Rights cannot coexist with tar sands exploitation. Colonialism in its current manifestation has Indigenous communities being held as economic hostages by Canada and multinational fossil fuel corporations like Total.”
“Dependence on the fossil fuel economy needs to be replaced with local, sustainable economic opportunities in Indigenous communities if Indigenous Rights are to be realised and protected.”
Human rights were also on the chopping block at COP21, with the United States, Saudi Arabia and Norway blocking human rights language in the accords.
Countries most susceptible to the effects of climate change urged delegates to ensure that human rights remain at the core of the agreement.
“Countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Philippines have championed this language in this year's negotiations and continue to stress the importance of keeping human rights at the core of the agreement. Others, like Norway, Saudi Arabia, and the United States have blocked proposals to include this language,” Carbon Market Watch reported.
During the negotiations, wealthy countries included their scam to push for carbon credits, the scheme which allows dirty coal and other polluters to continue their operations, while exploiting the world’s poor and underdeveloped regions.
This week’s non-stop action by Indigenous Rising, It Takes Roots, and the Indigenous Environmental Network, follows the beautiful canoe flotilla on Sunday.

Saami and Maori joined the protest outside Total, tar sands owner, in Paris.
Photos Allan Lissner/Indigenous Environmental Network

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